Friday, November 6, 2009

Fish Tales

Our fish finally died.

We've had a I say 'finally' because that thing was defying the laws of biology and nature in an increasingly alarming way. That fish has been hanging on by a thread for months now, swimming upside-down, languishing at the bottom of the bowl for hours on end, floating on the surface of the water and generally doing his level best to give us the idea that he was no longer. Then, when one of us would give the glass a rap to see if he was, in fact, dead, he's rouse himself out of his stupor and swim around as usual for a day or so and then repeat the performance. It was getting tiresome.
We have not had a great record when it comes to keeping fish. The Loudshoes household seems to be a Kryptonite for domesticated fish. This last one managed to survive us for at least a year (nobody is quite sure who bought him, or when), but we did go through a spell there with goldfish where they were practically disposable....I think we went through a couple a week.
When the first one, Goldie, died, the girls were quite small; we didn't even have Toby yet. Goldie's death was traumatic and agonizing....Thing 1 and Thing 2 cried as though their little hearts would break. By the time Sausage, the third one died, they hardly blinked. I got a passing "fish is dead" as one of them headed out to school one day. After that, they didn't even bother naming them, it was too much trouble to remember what it was called; they all ended up being called "the fish".
We eventually wised up and stopped getting 35 cent goldfish, and bought a Siamese Fighting Fish, or "Beta", which was not only prettier, but was also hardier. They tend to thrive on neglect (always abundant around here) and had the added bonus of entertaining us by puffing up and putting on a fierce show of aggression when placed in front of a mirror. (The goldfish were woefully unimpressive after that, how could they compete with the Liberace of the fish world?) The Betas tend to last a bit longer, too. No one could remember who bought this one, or when.
All I know is that it wasn't me, because the last thing I would pay good money for was one more thing I had to look after.
Anyway, it's finally gone, and I think it took us a couple of days to even notice, largely because he had been playing at dying for so long, none of us took him seriously. He probably died just to show us up.
I hope to God nobody around here takes it into their fool head to get another fish. Or else I will start languishing at the bottom of my bowl, and playing dead. I wonder if anyone will notice.

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